Posted by: stephenwomack | November 2, 2012

The Storm

Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds… …those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.  Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat…. the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.

Matthew 14:19-25 ESV (Emphasis mine)

Our 13 person team is ministering at a conference to about 12,000 people. We don’t know how many for sure because we only registered the 5,000 men. Our leader just got done speaking but he went so long all the restaurants are closed. Now instead of sending the guests home he wants us to feed them. Oh yeah, we don’t have any food. The son of one of the team members didn’t eat his Captain D’s 2pc snack pack, with extra rolls, for lunch. So there is that. After our leader says grace, we divide this snack pack up and we’re standing on the stage looking out at this sea of people. We have about ½ a roll each and 1/6 of a fish. We’re not talking about King Salmon here people, this was the snack pack.

This shouldn’t take long. I have my group of 1,000 to feed over here with half a handful of food. I might make it through 3 people and then I’ll be done but I have nothing to lose. I break off a small piece of fish and bread and hand it to the 1st person. I do the same to the 2nd person and I notice, I have the same amount of food that I started with. Well this is odd. I give the 3rd person half of what I have and I look down to see there’s a whole fish and loaf of bread in my hands! Stunned I look over to see my teammate with his group tossing fish and large loafs of bread to the crowd!! People are laughing and full of joy, while our leader stands on the stage observing, with the slightest smirk on his face.

So many times we read the bible and the magnitude of what we’re reading doesn’t impact us. This had to be the most incredible thing they had ever done. Sure Jesus had done some pretty amazing things but they were a part of this. He used them directly in an unimaginable way. They couldn’t have been expecting what came next. Immediately after, Jesus made them get into the boat and sent them directly into a storm. Coming off the most epic event of their life life now they are fighting to stay alive.

All storms aren’t sent by God but all storms are used by God.

It’s one thing to have faith when you have nothing to lose. What about when everything is on the line? God uses storms to shake us to the very core of who we are. What will be revealed? What hidden motive, pride, fear, or selfish ambition will be brought to light? Will a person full of faith, character, and integrity be revealed? Will gold, tried by fire be revealed? The storms will show us who we really are.

The first key to greatness, is to be in reality what we appear to be. – Socrates

It seems almost cruel to send them directly into the storm after the highlight of their life. Why not send them beforehand? Why use them so incredibly only to tear them back down so quickly? He didn’t even intend to help them in the storm. In Mark’s gospel it says that Jesus meant to pass by them. Could it be that He knew He had given them everything they needed to be victorious? He certainly wasn’t fearful. He was walking on the the very thing they were terrified of.

If we see them rightly, storms are the very thing we need for breakthrough. Storms are a great opportunity for personal growth. Nothing will increase your faith quite like a storm. A successfully navigated storm will be the very thing that launches you into the next season of our life. There’s certainly no need for fear or trepidation. You already have victory. You’re in Christ and it’s under your feet. If you get this understanding, you’ll go from trying to avoid storms, to running charging into them when you see them coming. What do you really have to lose? If your faith proves too small or some uncomfortable things are revealed, He’s always there right beside you. Either way you’re coming out the other side better than you went it.

If you’re not currently in a storm don’t worry. You will be soon. Only next time don’t hide down in the false safety of the boat.

Jump out and take yourself a little victory stroll on top of it!

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